The Italian region of Apulia has expressed bullishness over reinforcing its trade and institutional ties with the UAE, widely reflected in its recent visit to the UAE to take part in the ‘Water Week’ celebrations that was held during EXPO 2020 Dubai and in the organization of several events arranged by well known leading Firm Di Francia Advisors aimed towards the internationalization of Italian and European companies towards the Gulf countries.
The event has included a cocktail reception which included the ribbon cutting of the Italian Lifestyle made in Apulia Exhibition, regional representatives meetings with a series of key institutions and the signing of strategic Memorandums of Understanding (MoU’s) with selected leading UAE organizations .
The delegation was led by HE Alessandro Delli Noci, Regional Minister of Economic Development and HE Anna Grazia Maraschio, Regional Minister of Environment and Urban Planning, and also included 18 companies, four Apulian universities – included the prestigious Polytechnic of Bari, two port authorities, the Apulian Aqueduct (AQP) and Puglia Sviluppo.
According to Di Francia senior officials, a fully-packed series of activities was prepared for the official visiting delegation, including a visit by the Apulian Port Authority and HE Delli Noci with the CEO of the Abu Dhabi Port Authority; a scheduled visit and meeting between Politecnico of Bari and Zayed University and Dubai Science Park; and the trade mission's scheduled meetings with leading UAE institutions Abu including Sharjah Technopark, DP World and JAFZA.
HE Delli Noci and HE Maraschio also led the delegation in the signing of strategic new partnership agreements, which included an MoU between Sharjah Technopark and Apulian universities; a collaborative agreement with Tradeling, the commercial operator of Dubai Airport Freezone; and an MoU with the World Trade Free Zone Organization (WTFZO), an association composed of Dubai's 50 free zones, regional government entities and port authorities.
HE Delli Noci, shared: “Our mission to the UAE encapsulated the sense of policies for international development which the regional government has been working on for the last ten years and thanks to which companies from our region have learned how to present themselves and grasp opportunities for investment and collaboration. Apulia can and must be the gateway to new markets and for this reason, the principal objective of this second mission to the UAE at EXPO 2020 Dubai was to accompany Apulian companies active in the blue economy, fashion and furniture sectors--supporting them in the creation of new business relationships, as well as forging agreements and collaborations with the primary UAE institutions.”
The regional minister of economic development further explained that their presence at the seven-day 'Water Week' festivities at Expo 2020 Dubai allowed them the key opportunity to showcase the world-class products and services of Apulian companies while also exploring other opportunities.
The delegation also hosted an 'Apulia Regional Day', at the Italian Pavilion inside Expo 2020. This day-long activity included an exhibition entitled 'Design in Apulia: Nel blu dipinto di blu' (Into the blue, painted blue), which featured the creations of twenty-two Apulian companies and designers who have interpreted the theme of the 'Blue of Apulia'-- designing and creating objects related to the uses of water and the basic needs it satisfies, but also to the image, both perceived and conjured, of this precious resource. A special event was also held dedicated to Apulia's 'Blue economy,' where culture, sport and tourism serve as a driving force for the regeneration of seaside cities. The event was broadcast live on the institutional channels of the Italian pavilion.
The delegation also took part in the exhibition, 'Apulian Lifestyle,' which was inaugurated at the prestigious Palazzo Versace. The exhibition, which featured 13 Apulian SMEs (11 furniture and 2 fashion-tailoring firms) active in the fashion and interior design sectors, aimed at promoting the excellent image of Apulian's design sector. The Palazzo also hosted a series of business-to-business meeting sessions between carefully selected Apulian companies and operators from the Gulf countries, operating in the blue economy sectors, as well as the fashion and furniture segments.
Following the exhibition, the delegation has implemented a series of initiatives focused on environmental sustainability, water and coastal protection. These activities included an international Forum on 'climate change and the challenges for sustainable coastal management,' during which technologies and best practices for sustainable coastal development were presented by Apulian universities and research centers. Afterwards, the Amphitheater hosted the award ceremony for the 'Water for life Award' established by AQP.
Looking to bring in a taste of Apulian arts and culture, the Italian Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai has featured performances of the popular orchestra, 'Notte della Taranta (Night of the Tarantula).